Apricot oil or apricot kernel oil is pressed from the kernels of the Prunus armeniaca (apricot fruit). It is light yellow/golden color oil often with a faint nutty smell. It is thin and light oil, full of amazing ingredients and a must in your skincare and wellness routine.
But before learning more about apricot oil uses and apricot oil benefits, let us understand the main ingredient that the apricot oil is made from. Yes, you guessed it right – The APRICOT fruit!
What is an Apricot?
Apricot is a fruit that is closely related to or resembles plums or peaches. It is scientifically known as Prunus armeniaca. In Hindi, apricot is called “खुबानी”.
It has a thin outer skin and edible fiber beneath along with a seed(stone) in the middle which is inedible.
For their sweet or tart flavor, Apricots have been traditionally consumed in their raw fruit form (and on a very large scale) and is a famous fruit in most of the hilly regions of Uttarakhand, etc. This stone is known as kernel and has a variety of health benefits. When converted to oil, it has numerous health and skin benefits which are discussed in detail below.
The origin of apricot has been a matter of dispute and is unsettled till date. It was known in Armenia during ancient times and has been cultivated there for so long that it is often thought to have originated there. It is also the national fruit of Armenia.
Color of Apricot
The color of apricot is typically yellow or orange along with some red splashes.
Some of the colors that closely resembles the color of apricot are (hex values) –
Apricots are generally a cold and dry climate fruit, cultivated at high altitudes. In summer, from mid-June to mid-July, Apricot fruits are harvested when they grow to the size of golf balls or larger. They are ready to be plucked out when they turn from green to yellow or orange in color and exude a strong and sweet scent. When they are ripe, their flesh is firm but softens when squeezed.
In India, they are generally grown in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu & Kashmir, etc.
It is a common fruit among the natives of ‘devbhoomi’ Uttarakhand and is grown and consumed on a large scale throughout the summer season.
Different ways to consume Apricots
Apricots can be consumed directly as raw apricots or as dry fruits.
They are also used in the preparation of various other foods and drinks like Juices, etc owing to its high nutrition content and health benefits.
Its kernel can also be used to make Apricot Kernel Oil which has various skin and moisturizing benefits.
So, using apricot in different ways has a positive impact on your health in many ways!
In Ayurveda, apricot kernel oil is used to moisturize dry skin, reverse the effects of thinning hair, reduce the look of wrinkles, blemishes, and fine lines and alleviate symptoms of rheumatism.
What is the composition of Apricot Oil?
Apricot kernel oil is primarily composed of oleic acid (60%) and linoleic acid (30%).
Oleic acid is known for its ability to moisturize both skin and hair, stimulate hair growth and promote thicker, stronger hair, and reduce appearances of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles.
Oleic acid also helps to boost immunity, has antioxidant properties and helps relieve symptoms of joint stiffness and pain.
Linoleic acid helps to moisturize hair, promote hair growth, aid in wound healing, has anti-inflammatory properties, clears up acne, and promotes moisture retention in the skin.
Other components of apricot kernel oil areas below:
Palmitic acid – Palmitic acid helps to soothe and soften the skin and is a natural conditioner for the hair.
Stearic acid – Stearic acid helps to cleanse the skin, ridding it of sweat, dirt, and excess sebum. It also helps to condition the hair and protect it from damage. When added to blends that will be stored for long periods of time, it acts as a preservative that helps the ingredients remain potent.
Vitamin A – Vitamin A is well-known for being incredibly moisturizing to the skin and hair, and its antioxidant properties help to reduce signs of aging. It helps to balance the production of oil, prevent moisture loss, repair scars and blemishes on the skin and soothes irritated skin.
In addition to these, it also contains Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Vitamin K.
Beauty benefits of Apricot Oil for skin
Let us now see the benefits of Apricot Oil for skin.
Non-Greasy Moisturizer – When applied to the skin, it immediately sinks in which leaves skin non-greasy, leaving your skin feeling tight and ‘dry.’ It’s best applied right before your usual moisturizer. This can be used as a moisturizer for dry areas such as elbows, knees, feet, and hands. This will make your skin extra soft and smooth.
Anti-aging – It can help to reduce the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles and protect skin from UV damage. The unsaturated fatty acids found in apricot kernel oil coupled with the Vitamin E content are good for promoting youthful skin.
Naturally Condition Hair – Apricot kernel oil is a wonderful natural conditioner. This carrier oil can naturally nourish and detangle hair without being greasy. It helps provide nourishment and hydration to the hair.
Help reduce dark circles – Apricot kernel oil is rich in Vitamin K, which is known to reduce dark circles. It also contains vitamin E and omega 6 fatty acids that together with Vitamin K, nourish skin deeply, allowing the nutrients to penetrate the surface of your skin and reaching the blood cells.
Skin Scrub – Mix the apricot seed oil with sugar and scrub your face to exfoliate. Do this gently for deeply cleansed skin with no impurities. This gives a glowing complexion and renewed radiance. You can get glowing skin in just three minutes with this delicious soothing scrub. This will give you radiant skin as with olive or almond oil.
Massage Oil – Apricot seed oil gets very quickly absorbed into the skin, which is the best property of any massage oil. This also increases the benefits of massage to reduce stress, pain, and inflammation. This oil is very mild and non-irritating, and can even be used for children and infants.